Burnout and the Tech Industry

Afam Elue on burnout and the tech industry.

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The technology industry is fast-paced, competitive, and filled with unique stressors. As a result, burnout has become an epidemic in the tech industry, just as it has in several other sectors in the past decade. Here is an overview of burnout in the tech industry.

The Burnout Problem

Do you wonder if burnout is really a problem in the tech industry? In 2017, a workplace app for tech employees conducted a survey regarding burnout. The app, which is called Blind, found that over half of the tech industry employees believe that they are suffering from burnout. Some companies had more burnout than others, but the best of all the tech companies surveyed (which happened to be Netflix) still had nearly 40 percent of its workforce feeling burnt out. 

The Causes of Burnout in the Tech Industry

If burnout is a result of chronic stress, the question that needs to be addressed is— what is causing tech employees to be stressed? Some of the most common stressors for tech employees at work include low or unfair compensation, large workload, poor management, negative company culture, lack of support, or imbalance of work and life. In the tech industry, in particular, many workers feel pressure to be consistently productive without the benefit of rest because they fear falling behind. This pressure leads workers to push themselves to their limits week after week, which eventually leads to burnout.

What Can Be Done?

The problem of burnout in the tech industry is not an easy one to tackle. Still, companies can make positive strides in the right direction by focusing on employee wellbeing and implementing wellness programs. It’s also helpful for leaders to talk openly about burnout and to educate their teams about warning signs, as well as stress management. 

Whenever possible, companies should also offer flexible work options. If employees feel more control over their work lives, they are less likely to feel stressed. Allowing employees to work from home, if possible, is a great option, as is offering flexible work hours and providing paid time off. Also, encourage employees to be open and to confide in their managers when they feel like their stress levels are getting dangerously high. 

Stress and burnout do not have to go hand-in-hand with working in the tech industry. Start the conversation and let’s move toward achieving balance in every workplace.

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